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January 23, 2009

The "Hugeness" of God

   So many Facebook updates today are talking about President Obama signing legislation to make it easier to obtain abortions. I've been reading about and hearing people talk about how you can't vote for Obama if you are a Christian because he supports abortion. Some people took it even further to state that if you voted for him, then in essence you were sinning - which I find utterly ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, in no way shape or form do I support abortion. Personally, I do not even think it should be allowed for rape or incest, because it still is not the baby's fault and I think adoption is a wiser alternative. Realizing that I am a man, and have never been in that situation, it is still my opinion.

   Let's look at what scripture tells us in Romans 13:1-2.

         1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no
         authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist
         have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the
         authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so
         will bring judgment on themselves.

   I read that, along with the idea that a vote for Obama by a Christian is a sin, and wonder how that can be.  One of those two things would appear to be wrong.  If God specifically placed Obama in this position of authority, and if as a Christian, I vote for God causing me to sin?  I'd say not, but the question is still very interesting.  How does one rectify the loving and caring nature of God, who loves all life and "knew us in the womb," with the God who places someone in power who makes it easy to obtain abortions?  

   I think part of the problem is that we tend to keep our faith inside a little "Jesus Box."  This is who Jesus is, and this is what He's all about.  I'm either for it or against it!  Jesus likes life, so you should never have an abortion. That's it.  

   The reality is that religion and politics don't mix.  Why is it that Obama is not really a Christian when he supports abortion, but Bush is great even though we went to war, rather than choosing to forgive and show grace?  The reason is that when push comes to shove, even most Christians are pragmatic in their view of how things need to go.  Yes, the Bible says to forgive, but if we don't do something about the people who attack us, they will do it again.  It's ok to overlook some of the core beliefs, because it is necessary.  

   The same thing could apply to the whole debate over abortion.  If Christians would spend half as much time coming up with solutions, rather than complaining or picketing, abortion might not even be an issue.  Our question is how we stop the girl from going into the abortion clinic, rather than what are the circumstances that lead to these women feeling that abortion is their only option.  Then if we do convince her it is the wrong thing to do, we're done with her.  No one is there to help her to pay for the birth, let along helping with the actual raising of the baby, which she is also probably not prepared for.

   Why do Christians (especially in the U.S.) make abortion and homosexuality their top concerns?  The fact is that God is HUGE.  He is bigger than we can possibly imagine, and he is painting on a canvas bigger than we can see...bigger than time itself.  We don't understand who God is, or what He is doing.  We catch glimpses of where He is at work and try to join along.  Jesus in scripture tends to encourage the right choices, rather than condemning and guilting people over the wrong ones.  Maybe if Christians put more effort into being the church, rather than just attending church, these debates would stop.  Take Jesus out of our box, and take Him outside the walls of our churches.  The debates would be unnecessary when we are being Jesus with skin on for people who are lost and hurting.  How can we be part of the solution to these problems, rather than just critics of them?


Jennifer Hamilton said...

You make some really good points Jon, I wish more people would think about these political issues in this way. In talking to friends I've met in other countries, Christian friends, abortion is not the big, divisive issue it is here in America. I think American Christians want the government to take care of the big "sin" issues like abortion and gay marriage because they just don't want to deal with the messiness that goes with getting right in there and seeing the real people involved. Abortion is not just about some law, its about people, women, who must feel in some way powerless and helpless, so they choose abortion. Christians don't want to deal with that person, don't want to "see" her, in the way Jesus would see her and know her deepest need. Instead we want the government to legislate what we think is right or wrong so we can go on with our happy Christian perfect (ha!) lives without having to deal with all those "sinners" out there. God must just shake his head at us sometimes. Or weep.